NOTE: This post will be continuously updated as more information becomes available, so do check back every now and then. Last update: 4/9/2013
You'll have to pardon this slight, for we're repeating ourselves: the Sony Xperia Z1 (aka Honami) has set the web on fire in a spectacular manner these last few weeks. With announcement day drawing ever closer, hype is reaching some dangerously high levels. This has meant that a kind of informational overload has been created, so even the geekier among you have started to feel a little fuzzy around the edges.
Luckily for you, there's no need to panic, for we're about to break it all down for you into easily digestible bits. A part of those are, strictly speaking, rumored/speculated information, but we nevertheless expect Sony's event on September 4 at IFA 2013 to announce a device with features largely identical to the ones below.
Sony Xperia Z1 (Honami) round-up
Sony Xperia Z1 (Honami) round-up
1. Sony Xperia Z1 coming with "the world's leading camera in a smartphone"
You're looking at a single slide from a leaked Xperia Z1 press release. Sony refers to the now confirmed 20.7MP camera on the Z1 as "the world's leading camera in a smartphone", citing research by Strategy Analytics. The press release also confirmed
that the battery unit will be 3000mAh, and the device will weigh 170g, with dimensions of 144x74x8.5mm.Read more
2. Buy one, get one free
If you've been to the UK for even a while, then you'll know that deals are force behind sales on the island. It's with this in mind that British carrier EE (a partnership between T-Mobile and Orange to offer 4G LTE), will be offering a free Sony SmartWatch 2 to anybody who wants to taste the new flagship, according to a leaked flyer.Read more
3. Latest intel points to a September 24 release date on UK's Three
A tipster claiming to work for Three UK has send over to Engadget a snap of an internal-looking document that points towards a Sony Xperia Z1 (Honami) release date of September 24, which fits well with the rumored launch date of September 18 in India.
4. Honami comes packing a 20.7MP shooter
The camera unit on the Sony Xperia Z1 has arguably received the most hype, and therefore – the most coverage. The snapper on the back will have a dedicated shutter button all of its own, and it has been pretty much confirmed to be a 20.7MP Exmor RS unit. The camera will make use of Sony's so-called G lens, along with a large f1/2.3'' sensor. This latter is expected to help the Xperia Z1 to perform great under low-light conditions, and generally, of course.
On the software side, Sony's proprietary BIONZ imaging processor, which can be found on some of Sony's dedicated camera, is said to come packed in the Sony Xperia Z1.
5. 5-inch 1080p Triluminos display with X-Reality engine
Who can say no to a 5-inch 1080p display? Despite the obvious answer, washed out colors and a generally poor showing have been a top concern for a while now, as far as Sony's TFT LCD panels are concerned. Borrowing know-how from its TV division, Sony has, in the past, tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to make the best of it through software engines like the mobile Bravia 2.
The above situation has changed a great deal, though, since the introduction of Triluminos tech for mobile and the new and improved X-Reality engine has marked a new high for Sony. The Japanese company's mobile display now seem competitive with industry standard-setters like AMOLEDs and Super LCD3.
For a visual comparison and more in-depth discussion of the new display tech that will be coming with the Sony Xperia Z1, read more HERE
6. Performance powerhouse
The Sony Xperia Z1 is bound to end up as one of the hardware beasts to beat. Equipped with 2GB of RAM and Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 800 SoC, it will feature four 2.3GHz Krait 400 cores, along with an Adreno 330 GPU, which is said to deliver up to 50% better graphic performance and twice the computing power compared to its predecessor. With this in mind, it's no wonder that the Chinese version (L39h) of the Xperia Z1 shattered the 30,000 score mark on AnTuTu, on par with another powerhouse – the LG G2.
For a full break-down of the specs on the Sony Xperia Z1, click here
7. September 4 announcement, September 18 launch?
While we now know that the Sony Xperia Z1 will be announced in just a few days on September 4 during IFA 2013, we don't have much to go on in terms of a release date. That being said, people with knowledge on the matter have marked September 18 as the day the phone also known as the Honami will launch in India. The local price of the Sony Xperia Z1 is said to come in at about Rs 50,000, or $750, but this will very likely fluctuate depending on the region.Read more
8. IP55/58 certified
As has become customary with Sony flagships, the Sony Xperia Z1is set to arrive IP 55/58 certified, meaning it is water-, shock-, shatter- and dust-proof.
Those of you who are concerned with the size of a 5-incher should know that there has been some rumors that a non-IP certified version of the Z1 will also be made available at some point. As was the case with the Xperia Z and its less rugged Xperia ZL equivalent, the alternative version will probably be slightly more compact.Read more
9. Color options
As far as the color palette available for the Sony Xperia Z1 goes, expect no surprises – so far we've only seen the standard three colors that Sony has been using lately: black, white and purple. There has been no indication that colors different from those will be made available now or in the future, so we wouldn't count on it if we were you.Read more
10. Enough with the tease!
Sony has been making the most of the existing hype, by continuously keeping us on our toes through teaser images and videos. Those started out slow and appeared seemingly manufactured, but they eventually grew into a succession of more teasers highlighting several key features, like the dedicated camera button and the aforementioned waterproof certification.
Read more here
11. Dedicated LED notifications light
While Sony isn't exactly a stranger to appropriating LED lighting to help inform the user of notifications, it has been reserving the more visually-appealing designs for mid-rangers like the Xperia SP. But not this time around.
An image of the Honami being charged was posted on Facebook, showcasing that the Xperia Z1 will feature a dedicated LED notifications light at the very top of the device.Read more
12. Continues the Xperia design language
If the design on the Xperia Z turned you off, be it because of the overall looks or the rather large bezels, then the Xperia Z1 will fail to impress you as well. Speaking of the Z and Z1, Sony's new flagship device will be slightly taller than its predecessor.
Regardless, Sony's design has managed to sway an admittedly growing portion of the market, and there certainly are those who fancy the rugged, rectangular design.Read more
13. Early photo sample
Sony's 20.7MP snapper has received a lot of attention, so it's only natural that sooner rather than later, a bunch of photo samples began appearing from all directions.
Of course, these can be easily faked, not to mention that most of them are most likely taken with an early prototype version of either (or both) the software and hardware. As with previous hyped-up device announcements, we're in no hurry whatsoever to cast a verdict on how good Sony's camera is. Make no mistake, though, we sure are itching to find out!
Read more here
14. Will capture 4K video
Now that 1080p resolution has become the standard, the so-called Ultra HD standard (dubbed 4K) has began making rounds around the world. Just like the Galaxy Note 3, the Sony Xperia Z1 is said to be capable of 4K video capture. Speaking of video capture, word on the street is that the Z1 will also capture film at 60 frames per second for super-smooth footage.Read more
15. Camera UI overhaul
A system dump a while ago made it possible for developers to port the Honami's source code to its predecessor, the Xperia Z. Among the new UI tweaks and general improvements, a notable addition has been a revamped and feature-filled camera UI.
Read more here
16. Magnetic plug support
Ever had the feeling that no matter which way you turn a USB plug, it just won't fit? We have, and this wicked sorcery has made it through to the mini version of the common plug, albeit to a smaller extent. It is because of this that we're actually starting to warm up towards the idea of a magnetic plug, which, luckily, the Xperia Z1 will support.
17. A mini version of the Xperia Z1?
Lovingly referred to as Honamini, a more compact, 4.3-inch version of the Xperia Z1 has caught our attention in multiple instances. Visually an equivalent to its bigger brother, the Honami mini will also keep much of the beastly specs that are expected to power the Z1. With that in mind, we foresee a possible disturbance in the force, as far as the mini versions of popular flagship devices are concerned.Read more
18. One Sony
The Xperia Z1 marks the fruition of Sony CEO Kaz Hirai's strategy dubbed “One Sony”. The idea behind the moniker is that Sony has infused its latest generation of mobile devices with technology from across all departments of the conglomerate. Mr. Hirai has further vowed to turn Sony into a mobile powerhouse, a promise he appears intent to honor.Read more
19. When it leaks, it pours
Leaks involving the Xperia Z1 have been both plentiful and informative in nature, so much so that Sony's attempt at masking (on your left) the upcoming device appears somewhat comical in hindsight. Sony definitely isn't alone in this practice, though – Samsung has been known to use prototype devices in order to keep the lid on new announcements. Unfortunately for Sony, however, the giant chassis has been far from sufficientRead more